Warmth and greetings to all internet homies!
I'm a 24-year old freelance photographer based out of New York City. My ultimate, life-long dream has always been to become a travel photographer. The image of exploring the world with a camera, processing exotic cultures and developing unique relationships with people along the way is basically what I shutter my mind to every night before falling asleep...
For many years, I've been driven by the idea of volunteering in Asia. There are so many children in need -- whether they suffer from famine, illness or disease, disfigured because of land-mine explosions, enduring violence in the streets and/or child prostitution or whether they are simply orphaned because of poverty and war. Cambodia is completely overwhelmed with orphans due to extreme poverty and disease, plus the soil's danger is its riddling of unexploded land-mines, remnants of the Vietnam War. Like many around the world, Cambodia's children are in need of dire help.
The goal of this project is to volunteer at one or several orphanages near Siem Reap during 3-4 weeks, while keeping a photographic journal and blog. While I will be teaching English and arts in an orphanage, helping in daily activities and housework as well as anything else I can do for the children, I will be collecting images to show at one or several photography exhibits and to put in self-published book form. I hope for the images to really raise awareness about the problems Cambodia faces as well as to show the beautiful and optimistic nature of the Cambodian people. I also hope to develop relationships with the orphanages and schools in order to find other ways to help the children in the future, whether with educational tools, the arts and/or supplies.
The writing: A daily journal of my experiences and impressions will be translated into a blog. This way backers and friends can keep track of the experience on a personal level.
The photography: I will return with a few thousand images of the children, orphanages, locals' homes, landscapes, animals, towns and the famous spiritual site, Ankgor Wat. The best images will be exhibited in one or several locations (art galleries and shows, potentially at the Cambodian Embassy or other Cambodian-influenced locations) as well as posted on my Flickr page www.flickr.com/photos/ericasimone, professional Web site www.ericasimone.com and others.
Please review my work at the above links to get a better sense of my photographic style and quality of how I shoot.
The pledged money is to cover travel and other expenses, the organization's fee (www.anjali-house.com), some basic photography equipment needed in order to complete the project as well as financing for photographic prints to make up a substantial exhibit.
The trip will begin in early February 2010 for 3-4 weeks.
NB: All prints exchanged for pledges may be personally chosen by backers from the collection of photographs taken in Cambodia
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